Senate Wants Dana Airline’s Operating Certificate Revoked

The Senate on Tuesday asked the Federal Government to revoke the operating certificate of Dana Airline.

This resolution followed the consideration of the report on the crash of Dana Airline by the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Aviation.

The Senate also recommended that the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Harold Demuren be removed from office for negligence and incompetence.

Dana Airline resumed operations last month, seven months after its fleet was grounded following the crash of its flight 992 on a scheduled flight from Abuja to Lagos.

Aviation authorities had temporarily grounded the airline following the crash of its plane in Iju-Ishaga, a Lagos suburb, on June 3, 2012, killing over 160 passengers and crew members as well as those on the ground in the neighbourhood.

The House of Representatives had in December made public the recommendations by its Committee on Aviation which, among others, directed that Dana Air should be stopped from operating and that Mr Demuren, should be sacked.

EFCC Re-arrests Convicted Pension Boss

A former deputy director in the Police Pension Office, John Yakubu, still has a lot to account for as he has just been re-arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr. Yakubu, who was convicted by an Abuja Federal High Court on a three count of criminally converting N23.3 billion Police pension fund for personal use, was on Monday sentenced to six years imprisonment or an option of  N750,000 fine – about one percent of the entire loot.

The EFCC on Tuesday filed fresh charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja Court against Mr. Yakubu who was let off the hook after pleading guilty to the criminal charges.

The Commission charged Mr. Yakubu to court on a four count of false declaration of assets contrary to section 27 Sub Section 3 of the EFCC Act.

According to court documents, Mr. Yakubu is charged with failing to declare in his asset form as a civil servant his interest in Sy-A Global Services Limited, a company solely owned by him and members of his family.

The second charge stated that Mr. Yakubu did not declare the sum of N250,000 lodged in fixed deposit  in the name of the said company with a commercial bank.

He is also accused of failing to declare another N10 million lodged in a separate commercial bank in the name of the said company.

According to the fourth charge Mr. Yakubu used a surrogate, Danjuma Gele to deposit the sum of N25 million in a fixed deposit account.

No date has been given for his formal arraignment in court.

 

Proposed Merger of Political Parties Will Work, ACN Insists

The Assistant Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Lagos, Funso Ologunde, a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily opposed claims stating that the proposed merger between three major political parties in Nigeria, is born of greed.

The plan by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Peoples Political Party (ANPP) and the Congress For Progressive Change (CPC) to merge ahead of the 2015 general elections, has attracted a lot of controversy in the political circle.

Speaking on the feasibility of such a joining, Mr Ologunde maintained that “the objective is what is most important” adding that “it is going to work.”

He also said that personal interests of the involved parties will not impede the success of the merger as the it involves each party shedding its own identity to take on the new identity created for the new political party.

The purpose of the merger “is to salvage Nigerians from the ruins unto the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has plunged the nation into,” he said.

Fashola Signs MOU On Competitiveness Project With LBS

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Lagos Business School (LBS) on the Competitiveness Project, reiterating that the willingness of the State to be open shows clearly that all darkroom economists saying all manner of things about the State’s economy are wrong.

The Lagos Competitiveness Project is a collaboration of efforts between the Lagos State Government and the LBS to carry out competitiveness studies across 10 crucial sectors in which the state can have comparative advantage.

The Governor, who spoke at the Conference Room of the Lagos House, Ikeja added that the partnership with the LBS on the competitiveness project shows clearly that any issue that is a matter of debate can actually be put under a microscope and analysed just as it is obtainable in many parts of the world.

He explained that the Competitiveness Project dimensions how readily the present government is to subject its processes to an independent team of academics, professionals and business people and to share knowledge and experience with them while also benefitting from the human capital that clearly exists.

Governor Fashola stated that the relationship that great cities like London and New York have with their business schools and Universities are a matter of common knowledge, stressing that the Memorandum is one that should have come a lot earlier than it has.

“But it is consistent with some of the things that I have advocated that the Town and Gown must shake hands. We must implement policies that are consistent with the experience of people out there and the people must also acquire knowledge and skills that are useful for government to discharge its responsibilities,” Fashola said.

Governor Fashola said the end of the negotiation and signing of Memorandum of Understanding signals the beginning of a journey of cooperation and it is a journey that he looks forward to because it is a journey of common sense, mutual benefit and necessity.

While expressing delight at the milestone, the Governor said there is a lot of work to be done going forward and that Lagos Business School will find in Lagos State Government a very willing, necessary and cooperative partner.

The Dean of the Lagos Business School, Enase Okonedo said the objective is to see how the LBS can make Lagos an attractive place not only for businesses but also for business persons who will come to Africa and take advantage of the potential which has been out there for a couple of years.

She said the project is a collaboration of efforts between the Lagos State Government and the LBS to carry out studies across 10 crucial sectors in which the state can have comparative advantage, adding that such sectors would be identified and studied in depth in addition to case studies whereby cases will be written to examine and document the successes and challenges of the State Government in the process of building Africa’s model mega city.

Ms Okonedo said the objective of the Lagos Business School was to see how it could primarily contribute to the development of the Lagos State Government because the Lagos Business School is not only located in the State but also shares a common name with her and has observed the excellent work that is being done by the Governor and his team over the last couple of years.

She added that the institution has also been sharing in the Governor’s aspiration to make Lagos Africa’s model mega city just as LBS also has an aspiration to become Africa’s leading business school.

“We are therefore looking at Lagos and looking at ways in which we can work with the State and contribute from our expertise into making this a reality and one of the ways we thought that we could do that was to try, and in various ways, study the competitiveness of Lagos”.

“Now, we have all been witnesses and have read about Africa rising and how attractive it has become to businesses all over the world. When we talk about Africa rising, the question remains as to where the investments are going to be located within Africa, Nigeria and indeed Lagos which has the largest markets. If you look at it on a head to head basis, Lagos will compete with several other cities like Cairo in Egypt and others that are being mooted like Nairobi and Accra”, Dr Okonedo explained.

Earlier while giving an insight into the Memorandum of Understanding, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaiye said Lagos has always shown in several ways that it is intent on pursuing its policy of achieving a model mega city just as it is aware that it has the potential of reaching the goal.

He added that part of the goal listed was for the State to benchmark itself against fellow states not only within the Nigerian Federation alone but also against some of the best around the world.

“This process requires that we consistently review what we are doing, Study the best practices across the world and identify areas in which we have room for improvement with a view to ensuring that in all aspects of our governmental activities, we are among the best in the world”, he said.

He added that the Lagos Business School was a well-known institutions that is also keen to participate in what Lagos State is doing towards the improvement of not just governance but also living standards within the State and has therefore come up with the Lagos City Competitiveness programme,.

The Attorney General explained that the programme will involve the institution giving of its expertise in cooperation with Lagos State to carry out certain activities which will include holding competitiveness studies whereby the ten crucial sectors in which Lagos can have comparative advantage will be identified and studied in depth.

According to him, “There will also be case studies whereby cases will be written to examine and document the successes and challenges of the State Government in the process of building Africa’s model mega city”.

“We will have stakeholders’ engagements and the LBS will partner with the State to drive business and government engagements in order to sustain and build the atmosphere of partnership and fruitful stakeholders’ interaction. We will also have development initiatives involving collaboration with various government stakeholders to study and drive competitiveness through pre-arranged and targeted initiatives”, the Attorney General said.


 

8 Killed In Borno

Eight people have been killed by suspected sect members in Gajiganna village in Borno state.

It is unclear those responsible for the recent killings even though Gajiganna is located roughly 50 kilometers from Maiduguri, the base of extremist group Boko Haram.

Spokesperson for the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri, the state capital, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa confirmed that the attack happened on Sunday in the village of Gajiganna, but declined to comment on the manner in which the people were killed.

Conflicting reports have emerged from the area as regards the manner in which the eight victims died.

Some claim the victims were shot while other eye-witness accounts say that all eight people had their throats slit.

Judge My Performance, Wada Tells Kogi People

The Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada, who recently resumed office after his December 28 auto-crash has in his first official address since resuming work, highlighted the various achievements of his administration in spite of its many challenges.

In a recent address, Governor Wada described his first year in office as torturous and very challenging.

He listed the many challenges facing the state and expressed his gratitude to individuals, organized bodies and the Federal Government for their prayers and relief materials to the victims of the recent flood disaster in the state.

He identified major challenges faced by the state as flooding – which displaced about 1million residents – and  security challenges, which led to the death of 20 Christians at a branch of the Deeper Life church by unknown assailants.

He stated that his administration started out on a solid foundation by establishing a think tank which produced a blue print on the clear mission and vision for the transformation of the state.

He also highlighted some achievements of his administration in the past one year.

He revealed that a total of 169 projects, spread across agriculture, education, health, tourism, water supply, security human capital development and road construction, have been completed within the past one year.

He commented on the synergy between the state government and various security agencies stating that there is a “clear reduction in the number of armed robbery and bank robbery incidences throughout the state.”

He said, “We have tried in the face of these challenges and limited financial resources to record some modest achievements within this one year … the judgment of our administration belongs to you.”

Kogi Police Parade 80 Year Old Armed Robber And 5 Others

The Police have arrested an 80 year old man, Momoh Rapheal and five others, for allegedly stealing money from a traditional ruler in Okedayo community located in Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area of Kogi state.

While parading the suspects at the state Police headquarters in Lokoja, the State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Katsina, said the suspects attacked the traditional ruler; Chief Akin Obamero and Ayo Olukayode and dispossessed them of their belongings.

Items found on the robbery suspects include an AK 47 riffle, double and single barrel gun, five pistols, two cars, a motor cycle, 10 cartridges and 6 handsets among many other ammunition.

The gang leaders, Oluwaseun Ikupele and Saliyu Mumuni were arrested and convicted by a law court for robbery, but were later granted amnesty by the Chief Judge.

The 80 year old man is the gang armorer and supplier of arms and ammunition

They have now been arrested for another robbery alongside their gang members.

While briefing journalists on the arrest in his office Mr. Mohammed Katsina disclosed that in December 2012, Oluwaseun Ikupele and his gang members attacked the traditional ruler of Okedayo community and Ayo Olukayode and dispossessed them of their belongings.

He said when the police was informed by the victims, the special ambush squad investigated the matter and the suspects were arrested.

Also paraded was Ikechukwu Godfrey who was arrested with a stolen vehicle.

The State Police Commissioner also disclosed that three robbery suspects Illiyasu Danjuma, Idris Salisu and Momoh Sani Isadanga declared wanted by the police over a robbery case have been arrested.

Edo Election: Tribunal Dismisses Petition Against Oshiomole

The Edo State Election Tribunal has dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Charles Arhiavbere, challenging the results of the 2012 governorship election in the state.

The judge said that the petitioner failed woefully to prove his allegation and thereafter dismissed the petition on that basis.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared the candidate of Action Congress of Nigeria and incumbent Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, as winner of the election.

The Judge further said there was no infraction proved to prevent the return of Oshiomhole in anyway and that if there was a petition completely starved of evidence, this is completely one.

The petition is bereft and devoid of any substance, said the Judge.

Gen. Charles Arhiavbere had filed a petition at the Election Petitions Tribunal challenging the victory of Governor Adams Oshiomole in the July 14 Edo Governorship election.

The petition stated that the ‘purported election’ was invalid due to corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provisions of Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

Other grounds for the petition included alleged intimidation and harassment of voters, depriving them from exercising their franchise and constitutional rights in 11 local government areas of the state.